Statute of Limitations Extended with AB-218
Prior to the passage of Assembly Bill 218, victims of childhood sexual abuse had only eight (8) years from the time they turned 18 to bring a claim for damages against a perpetrator. Existing law also allowed them to bring a lawsuit within three (3) years of the date they discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the childhood sexual abuse caused psychological injury or illness after they reach the age of 18. The claim must have been commenced before their 26th birthday.
AB-218 amended Section 340.1 of the California Code of Civil Procedure to extend the statute of limitations to give better protection to childhood sexual assault victims. Pursuant to the new law, victims of childhood sexual assault now have until 22 years from the date they reach majority (18 years old) to bring a claim for damages. Additionally, the time is extended to five (5) years from the date they discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the sexual assault resulted in psychological injury or illness beyond the date they reached majority.
In addition to extending the statute of limitations for childhood sexual assault victims to bring claims, the law also broadens the definition of who may bring a lawsuit. Under AB-218 childhood sexual assault is defined as “any act committed against the plaintiff that occurred when the plaintiff was under the age of 18 years that would have been proscribed by:”
- Penal Code 266j;
- Penal Code 285;
- Penal Code 286, paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b), or of subdivision (c);
- Penal Code 288, subdivision (a) or (b);
- Penal Code 287 or former 288(a), paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b), or of subdivision (c);
- Penal Code 289, subdivision (h), (i) or (j);
- Sexual conduct defined in Penal Code 311.4(d)(1); or
- Penal Code 647.6.
Largely a bipartisan effort, AB-218 has expanded the rights of victims of childhood sexual assault. This bill helps to bring justice to those who have had their lives ruined by molestation or sexual abuse as a child.
Trusted Legal Help from Long Beach Firm, Overett Group
Bringing a civil lawsuit for sexual assault can be traumatic, no matter how old you are or when the abuse occurred. For some victims of childhood sexual abuse, it can be decades before the full damages are revealed. California legislators recognize the unique position that victims of childhood sexual assault are in and expanded the time for them to bring a lawsuit against a perpetrator.
At the Overett Group, we understand how difficult it can be to bring a person to justice who committed an atrocious act against you as a child. Many times, childhood sexual abuse is perpetrated by trusted individuals such as a coach, clergymen, or relative. It is essential to know that we are here for you, and we will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are experienced litigators that will not rest until all parties responsible are held liable for their wrongdoing.
Contact the Overett Group today at (562) 986-9864 for a free consultation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay fees unless we win.